Volunteer in this unique school working with blind and deaf children
This is one of the only schools for blind and deaf children in Quito, run by a foundation but receiving funds from the state. Of the fifty children attending, most are deaf, some are blind and a minority have both disabilities, possibly with associated mental or physical disabilities.
There is a good team of teaching staff. In addition to practical primary subjects the children are taught a number of vocational skills in gardening, jewellery making and sewing.
In addition to eight classrooms there is a big, grassy outdoors play area, learning areas for each different age group and plenty of indoor space.
The more able children are integrated into mainstream schools for a limited number of hours, when they are accompanied, requiring further support from staff.
As with most welfare services, volunteer support is needed to provide increased support to the regular staff. The teaching and care of the children requires much higher ratios of teachers to students in order to make it effective.
This is a volunteering opportunity for those considering a career working with blind or deaf children but qualified volunteers may also be able to provide new skills and experience to the existing staff.
The project operates in the mornings and the afternoons are spent preparing activities for the following day. Your time will be spent as an assistant in the classrooms with groups of up to twelve children. There is considerable focus on arts, craft, music and practical hands on activities. However academic subjects are also important. All the children study basic English and are taught to communicate in sign language.
In addition to normal lessons the children enjoy hippo-therapy at our horse riding project and swimming therapy. There is every opportunity to accompany the children and enjoy these therapies with them.
You will improve the staff to student ratio. This is important on a project where the children are ideally taught in small groups. Doing so means the children receive a higher standard of education and care.
The children are integrated where possible into mainstream school for a few hours each week. This can only take place if there are sufficient volunteers willing to work with one or two children at a time.
One of the joys of the project is seeing the positive reaction the children have towards volunteers and the huge rise in their self-esteem when they have your focus and support.
What I’m beginning to accept and even enjoy, which is a huge step for a neurotic like me, is to go with the flow and not worry. Mañana., Career break, Ecuador